|Uganda's Water Sector Development: Towards Sustainable Systems (SKAT, 1996)|
|5. Implementation Strategies|
The Government recognises that it cannot single-handedly cope with alleviating poverty among the poorest population. Therefore, it sees its role in the future as that of a facilitator of action, rather than an implementer of project activities. In order to play an effective role in the rural water sector, it needs to play a stronger hand during the conceptual development and planning of rural water supply and sanitation projects.
The Water Action Plan identified serious shortcomings in existing management procedures and tools. The DWD needs to develop these tools and techniques, including:
- an information system for collecting, analysing and disseminating data required for management decisions;
- water resource assessments that provide the basic knowledge to evaluate impacts of alternative management decisions;
- management procedures a set of guidelines and codes of practice needed for consistent responses in problem solving and decision making.
Data management system
The DWD plans to develop an integrated data management system that will collect, analyse, store and disseminate information. The DWD will assist the wide variety of users in their access to, and use of, the information relevant to their specific functions. It will attempt to abstract and analyse information at a district level wherever possible, thereby improving speed and efficiency in making and implementing decisions. The data flows to other sectors related to water resources, including agriculture, land, fisheries and forestry, present a significant challenge.
Water resources assessments
Within the Water Action Plan the DWD undertook a series of rapid
water resource assessments. It needs to undertake further work to gain a better
picture in the following areas:
- Upper Nile system to ensure that this major water source is managed in an appropriate and sustainable manner. As an upstream riparian, Uganda must assure its use of the Upper Nile does not have an impact of significance on downstream countries.
- Ugandan catchments to assess the suitability of surface water sources to supply concentrations of demand particularly the needs of small towns and rural growth centres.
- Groundwater resources to determine the ability of groundwater to meet the needs of rural water supply. Within the rural water supply sector in Uganda corrosiveness is a widespread problem. High fluoride concentrations also cause concern in some locations. There has been some speculation about the possible drying up of groundwater sources.
Establishing the Required Management Procedures and Tools
- First priority will be given to providing water of adequate
quantity and quality to meet domestic needs.
- The allocation of water to meet the needs of irrigation, livestock, industry and other demands, will be made considering the economic, social and environmental values of water.
- The planning of water use will be based on sustainable yields of sources.
- Water quality management will focus on minimising pollution by specifying appropriate water quality and effluent discharge criteria.
- Linkages to land use management will be taken into account.
- Water resources management will be co-ordinated between districts within the same watersheds.
- Soil and water conservation measures, agricultural and forestry practices will be seen as integral to water resource planning.
- The important linkages between wetlands, surface water regimes and water quality will necessitate an integrated conservation and development strategy.
- In major water resources conservation or development projects, consideration will be given to the trade-offs between economic or social benefits and environmental costs; and the Environmental Impact Assessment process will be used.
- Opportunity and environmental, as well as direct, costs will be taken into account when establishing project priorities.
- Tariff systems, fees and charges will be designed to provide incentives for water conservation and minimum wastage.
- Adopting a "polluter pays" principle, fees and penalties will be assessed and levied on the volume, chemical and biological composition of the discharge - so pollution reduction at source will be encouraged.
- The allocation of water for use within Uganda will take into account international obligations.
- Regional co-operation in the development, management and equitable use of shared water resources will be promoted.
Source: Uganda Water Action Plan
Regulation and management
The DWD has recognised that it needs to put in place appropriate
regulatory machinery for conservation, equitable use and protection of
Uganda's water resources. It has to ensure that it has the capacity to
operate and maintain that machinery. It is taking a pragmatic approach to its
task, addressing the need for control over major users of water without
hindering access to water for the general population, in particular the rural
Under the criteria laid down in the Water Statute, and subsidiary Regulations, no regulation will be imposed on extraction of water by manual means from any source groundwater or surface water. This means that, although the Government plans to tighten up its control over larger water users, it will continue to exempt the vast majority of rural water supply schemes from water extraction charges.